Michael Mansfield makes claims in new book
The death of Diana, Princess of Wales, was not an accident, according to the memoirs of lawyer Michael Mansfield who represented Mohamed Fayed at the inquest into the crash.
The 1997 accident in the Alma Tunnel in Paris still poses unanswered questions despite lengthy inquest at the High Court, he claims in his book, Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer.
The 67-year-old QC, who has represented clients in high profile cases ranging from the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence to the Birmingham Six, insisted the inquest had not been a waste of time and that Mr Fayed was entitled to the procedure as ‘a grieving father’.
In the book, which is being serialised in The Times, he wrote: ‘I found it difficult simply to accept that what happened in the Alma Tunnel in Paris was ‘just one of those tragic things’. Of course it might have been, but then that’s what ‘they’ always hope we will think.
‘On April 7, 2008, the jury did not decide it was just a tragic accident but returned a verdict of unlawful killing by the drivers of both the Mercedes and the following vehicles. The ‘following vehicles’ element in the verdict was an aspect that very few commentators picked up on, or bothered with.’
The book also reprises other issues set out in the trial but were not ‘resolved by evidence, or reflected in the verdict’. These included the box of missing personal papers belonging to Diana, the missing driver of the white Fiat, the three hours on the evening of August 30, 1997, during which the movements of Dodi’s chauffeur Henri Paul could not be established and the unexplained regular and sizeable sums of money going into Henri Paul’s several bank accounts over the three months before the crash.
He also expresses ‘real sympathy’ for Mr Fayed, who had been ‘unceasingly and erroneously attacked for wanting what any parent would have wanted: answers to why and how their loved one had died.’